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Family Travel

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A Family Holiday To SENTIDO Vasia Resort & Spa, Crete

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A while ago we decided along with Adam's side of the family that we wanted to book a holiday all together before Adam's brother and his girlfriend go back on their travels. We decided on Crete in Greece and we found an all-inclusive resort called SENTIDO Vasia Resort & Spa that seemed to tick all of the boxes.

We got back from our holiday just over a week ago and we truly had the most amazing time. I celebrated my 29th birthday whilst we were there and it was the best way to celebrate - I spent the day by the pool in the gorgeous Crete sunshine and even booked myself in for a 50-minute massage with my sister-in-law. We watched the sunset with a glass of wine that evening and then Adam's parents kindly slept in our room that night so that we could go 'out-out' and we went and visited Malia which wasn't too far away from where we were staying.

On one of the other days, we hired quad bikes whilst Adam's Mum kindly watched the boys for us and we drove them around the island (well, I sat on the back of Adam's!). It was such a fun experience and one I'm so glad I got to do. We chose the hottest day to do it, but it was great because the breeze was amazing! We drove the bikes up really high and then stopped at a really pretty family tavern that was almost hidden away at the top for an orange juice before continuing on back down looking over at stunning views of the sea and of Crete.

On Your First Day Of Reception School

Dear Ethan,

Today, a little late due to our holiday, you started reception. Today was your first day of proper school and you are now an 8:15am until 3.15pm 'er. My little boy - going to school five days a week with just the weekends off. That might take a little time for me to adjust to, it might take some time for you to adjust to too. And I know that your brother will struggle at first to get used to you not being home as much - he's had the most amazing summer with you and you with him.

You were fine going in to your classroom this morning and that made me feel so proud of you. It helps of course, that you are in the same two rooms, with the same two teachers as before. You have some of the same friends too, but also new people to meet and to grow up with. I'm sure that it helped you, you going in to a familiar place and seeing familiar faces and I know it helped me too. My nerves were less as I let go of your hand and your teacher took it, although it was still at that very same moment that I had to choke back some tears.

Why I Capture Our Lives - An Open Letter to My Eldest Son

It's not about showing off our family (as proud of you all as I am), or just all about making a living through sharing our lives.

It's not just about Mummy having something just for her - a creative outlet, a hobby, something to keep her brain ticking over and a place for her to make friends and feel part of a wider community despite not leaving the house as much as I did before I became a stay at home/work at home Mum.

It's about capturing a feeling. Or feelings, lots of them.

It's about capturing the magic of what it is to be a parent and all of the many powerful feelings that come with it. The powerful highs, the powerful lows and the ordinary every day in between moments.

And sometimes it's those ordinary everyday moments that are the ones I want to hold on to the most.

Establishing A Bedtime Routine With Your Baby - What Worked For Us

With both of our boys (Ethan now 4 and Logan now 2), we were lucky in that going to bed and sleep was never a constant battle, it was more that we just went through different phases when it came to bedtime.

I can remember during the tougher phases feeling a bit like I was going to break at times due to the lack of sleep. There was a time when we found ourselves in a phase of sharing our bed every night. And there was a time when we had to pick our youngest son up from his grandparents because he'd woke up at 2 o'clock in the morning and just outright refused to accept that he needed to go back to sleep. There were also times when I would feel consumed with Mum-guilt because my baby would wake up at night crying and we'd struggle to settle him back off to sleep.

But then I expect that at some point that's pretty much the same sort of story for all over parents of babies. I just feel very thankful that it didn't take us too long to be able to establish good routines and find an approach that meant the sleepless nights weren't too much of a long term thing.

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The Best Sorts of Days

Some days are just the best, aren't they? And for me, those days are always the days I have with my family. Don't get me wrong - some days are intense and difficult, some days are in between and then some days are brilliant and amazing and well, just totally perfect. But whenever I have my most perfect days, my Husband my boys are right there with me, just like this Bank Holiday.

We hadn't been entirely sure how we were going to spend our Bank Holiday Monday, we'd planned to visit Castle Ashby Gardens in Northamptonshire on Saturday, which we did with family and had such a lovely time doing so. But asides from that Adam was working his second job on the Sunday and then we'd floated the idea that really we should be working on Monday (we both work from home and when you work for yourself Bank Holidays don't really seem to be a thing do they?! Or at least not usually for us!). Adam's busiest day of the week is Monday and so it made sense to stick to our work routine of working half the day each,  but then when we saw the weather forecast, we knew we'd be silly to miss the better than good weather at 26 degrees! And really that's been one of the huge benefits we've found with working for ourselves - we have the ability to be a bit flexible with our working times. (Hence why I'm sitting here right now late at night typing away and making my time up!).

Since having the boys, we've become quite an adventurous family - we love exploring new places and finding new and fun days out to have, but knowing that most places were going to be pretty busy with the amazing weather and with it being Bank Holiday we decided to have a bit of a chilled out garden day. We filled our garden with lots of fun things for the boys to do - we got the paddling pool out, the bubble machine, the ball pit, made up lots of water balloons, got the tunnel and the tent out and then went and bought a disposable BBQ and some meat-free barbecue food and the bits we needed to make us some Pimms and we just really enjoyed the day at home.

How I *Try* And Keep On Top Of Things & Manage My Time

I like the quote, "The bad news is that time flies, but the good news is that you're the pilot."

Time is something that seems to be, at this stage of my life, always on my mind. Life feels like it sped up after I became a Mum and then again when I became a Mum of two. It also feels faster I think because I work for myself at home, plus I'm pretty sure that having instant access to the Internet wherever I am in the world means that I feel like it's easier to lose time browsing, especially over on social media (an inevitable trap really considering a lot of what I do with my blog and my YouTube channel is also social media based). 

I've found that juggling things as a Mum is not only physically tough and also emotionally sometimes too (Hello Mum guilt!), but it can be so hard to manage time also. I know that I've spent a good chunk of time, feeling like there really isn't enough time in the day, or wishing that I could somehow stay up and awake at night just so that I could get everything I need to do done ready for a fresh start the next day.

And whilst staying awake all night and all day isn't really possible and whilst no day is ever the same and some days I feel like it's all going a bit wrong and I've been ridiculously unproductive, I am finding that some little changes are starting to help me manage my time better and help me *try* to keep on top of things. And so I thought I would share some of the changes that I've made which have been helping.. 

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The Me and Mine Family Portrait Project - August 2017

I remember typing these exact words last month on the very last day of the month.. "Wow, where has July gone?" and now here I am asking myself where exactly August has got to too!

But I guess you could say it's in a slightly different way, because I feel like I know exactly where August has got to in a sense - we've filled it with great Summer memories, but in the same breath I'm slightly confused as to how it's about to be September already? I mean, I know how the months work, but September? Already? Really?
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